English Song

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Program: #12-12   Air Date: Mar 12, 2012

Two excellent new recordings look at the late Tudor and Jacobean era with Stile Antico, and a new project of Henry Purcell scored for harp, gamba, traditional Swedish violin, and voice.

NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from recent releases from Harmonia Mundi and ECM.

I. & III. Tune thy Musicke to thy Hart: Tudor & Jacobean music for private devotion

(Stile Antico and the ensemble Fretwork).

  1. Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
    O praise the Lord (Psalm 117)
  2. John Ammer (?-1641)
    O ye little flock
  3. John Taverner (c. 1490-1545)
    In nomine (Missa Gloria tibi Trinitatis)
  4. Robert Ramsey (1590-1644)
    How are the mighty fall'n (2 Samuel 1:25-27)
  5. Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585)
    Purge me, O Lord
  6. John Ammer (?-1641)
    A stranger here
  7. Robert Parsons (c. 1530-1570)
    In nomine a 4 no. 1
  8. John Browne (fl. 1480-1505)
    Jesu, mercy, how may this be?
  9. Robert Parsons (c. 1530-1570)
    In nomine a 4 no. 2
  10. Giovanni Croce (c. 1557-1609)
    From profound centre of my heart (version of Psalm 130)
  11. John Dowland (1562/63-1626)I shame at my unworthiness (Metrical paraphrase of Psalm 30:10-11)
  12. Thomas Campion (c. 1567-1619)Never weather-beaten sail (Thomas Campion (c. 1567-1619)
  13. William Byrd (c. 1540-1623)Why do I use my paper, ink and pen? (Attributed to Henry Walpole (1585-95)
  14. Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
    When David heard (2 Samuel 18:33)
  15. Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
    See, see, the Word is incarnate (Bishop Godfrey Goodman)

II. If Grief Could Wait

(Giovanna Pessi, baroque harp; Susanna Wallumrød, voice; Jane Achtman, viola da gamba; Marco Ambrosini, nyckelharpa).


 “If Grief Could Wait” is an intimate album of very special character, the outcome of a collaboration between harpist Giovanna Pessi and singer Susanna K. Wallumrød. Given impetus also by the nyckelharpa of Marco Ambrosini and Jane Achtman’s viola da gamba, the project has Pessi’s arrangements of Henry Purcell songs at its core. It begins with “The Plaint” (from The Fairy Queen of 1692) and continues with “If Grief Has Any Pow’r to Kill”, and “O Solitude” (from The Theatre of Musick), as well as “Music for a While” (from Oedipus) and “An Evening Hymn” (from Harmonia Sacra).

But Purcell’s music has never been heard quite like this. Threaded between his songs and instrumental pieces here are works of singer-songwriters Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, as well as songs by Susanna K. Wallumrød herself. “If Grief Could Wait” is neither a project that adheres rigorously to ideals of historical performance practice, nor one that strives self-consciously to “cross over”.

H. Purcell: The Plaint 6:17

  1. L. Cohen: Who by Fire 3:56
  2. H. Purcell: If Grief Has Any Pow’r to Kill 3:05
  3. S. K. Wallumrød: The Forester 9:51
  4. H. Purcell: A New Ground 3:02
  5. L. Cohen: You Know Who I Am 4:05
  6. S. K. Wallumrød: Hangout 5:35
  7. H. Purcell: O Solitude 6:14
  8. N. Drake: Which Will 4:00
  9. H. Purcell: A New Scotch Tune 1:21
  10. H. Purcell: Music for a While 4:06
  11. H. Purcell: A New Scotch Tune, var. 1:41
  12. H. Purcell: An Evening Hymn 4:22

Composer Info

Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656), John Ammer (?-1641), John Taverner (c. 1490-1545), Robert Ramsey (1590-1644), Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585), Robert Parsons (c. 1530-1570), John Browne (fl. 1480-1505), Giovanni Croce (c. 1557-1609), John Dowland (1562/63-1626), Thomas Campion (c. 1567-1619), William Byrd (c. 1540-1623), Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656), Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), Henry Purcell

CD Info

Harmonia Mundi CD HMU 807554, ECM CD 2226.